Beyond The Binary: Gender Specific Expressions That Need to Do One
Written by: Sophie Taylor
As part of our Beyond The Binary series, we asked the stars of the Come As You Are Festival which gender specific expressions that really grind their gears. We started with Man Up! a two person show using personal anecdotes and drag to explore and reconstruct gender stereotypes.
Their first answer came from the title of their show. “Man up” (obviously!) Similarly “grow a pair”, “don’t be such a girl/ pussy” or “you throw like a girl”.
Too Pretty To Punch by Edalia, is “a one-person celebration of trans-visibility and self acceptance” told through clown, mime, music and video projection. The show is part of the Big Bang work in progress nights. Edalia chose: “Manpower and Manhandled”
Salty, by Sal Francis Morton is another work in progress show. “An agitated look at hormones, genitals, shagging and being annoyingly congruent with the binary gender system.” Sal chose: “Sir/Madam in formal especially retail contexts, “Yaas Queen” – it’s racial appropriation and trans-excluding and “becoming” a transman/woman. “Is” will do fine thanks.”
“‘Female Impersonation’ (The end goal of drag is not always femininity. This would suggest there is one image of femininity which can be impersonated – there is not).
‘Actress’ (This suggests something ‘other’ than an ‘actor’ purely based on the persons gender. It is the same role/profession regardless of gender).”
Producers of new show Bullish, a play about gender negotiation, Milk Presents told us their most irksome gender specific phrases:
“Ladylike, Man-up, Ladies first, Such a gentlemen, A woman’s touch, Man flu, Who’s the man in your relationship? Hormonal, On your period and You throw like a girl”
Ray Filar, writer of Non Binary Electro Hour, “a tale of gender fluidity and desire told in electro-punk form” explained:
“The new one that gets me going is ‘out with the lads/cold one with the lads/the absolute boy’ etc. which is used to mean people of different genders but is apparently a compliment because it’s male gendered.
Also the use of ‘pussy’ to mean weak or scared or bad in some way.”
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